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1 week ago

What to do with a broken phone to keep your data safe

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Can I protect the data on my broken phone?

We try to make sure everyone knows the things they can do to make sure they know how to keep their personal data safe on an Android phone. What you do with the information is up to you, exactly as it should be. Only you know how valuable you think your personal information is.

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1 week ago

Xiaomi's Redmi Note 4 is making its way to India on Jan. 19

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Get ready for the Redmi Note 4.

Xiaomi is launching the successor to the highly popular Redmi Note 3 next week in India. An invite sent out to the media suggests that the Redmi Note 4 will make its debut in the country on January 19.

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1 week ago

Best Phone in India

Pixel XL

The Google Pixel is the best phone you can currently buy in India. But if you can't justify its asking price, there are plenty of options available across segments.

Best overall

Google Pixel

Pixel

See at Flipkart

The Google Pixel gets the basics absolutely right. The understated metal design is complemented by top-of-the-line hardware in the form of a Snapdragon 821, 4GB of RAM, 32GB or 128GB storage, an astounding camera, and all-day battery life. It is available in two sizes: a 5.0-inch variant with a Full HD display, and a larger 5.5-inch model with a QHD panel.

The Pixel is the ideal device for showcasing Google's services, including the new Google Assistant. With unlimited photo and video backup, you can take as many photos and 4K videos as you want and never worry about running out of space on Google Drive.

You also get the cleanest Android experience, and the Pixel will be the first to receive new software updates, whether they're monthly security updates or new platform versions. And because it's running first-party software, the phone absolutely flies. There isn't another handset available today that comes close to the Pixel in terms of performance.

Bottom line: If you're looking for the phone with the most refined software and the best camera, then the Pixel is the device to get.

One more thing: The Pixel is available from thousands of retail stores across the country in addition to Flipkart.

Why the Pixel is the best

After partnering with handset manufacturers over the Nexus line for several years, Google is going at it alone with the Pixel. And in doing so, it has created the phone to beat. Nothing else available on the market — not even the S7 edge — comes close to the software refinement of the Pixel. That's obvious considering the Pixel is made in-house by Google, but the overall software differs in subtle ways from what we've seen on the Nexus.

Whereas the Nexus line carried forth a vision of pure Android, the Pixel is all about what Google envisages for the platform. From the Pixel Launcher to Google Assistant to the weather doodle that changes based on the weather in your area, everything about the Pixel is customized in its own way.

And that's not even the best part of the Pixel. During its unveil, Google talked about how the phone was the highest-rated handset by DxOMark, and it isn't hard to understand why. For a pocket shooter, the Pixel takes remarkable images.

Then there's the added benefit of unlimited photos and video backup. If you're one to take a lot of photos, the feature makes all the difference in the world. With the Pixel, you'll be able to transfer all images in original quality over to Google Drive, as well as 4K video, without the media ever getting counted against your storage quota.

Sure, the Pixel isn't the best value for your money. The S7 edge offers more for less, including water resistance, wireless charging, a dual curved screen, and a more premium design. That said, the Pixel wins out in day-to-day use, primarily on account of the camera and the software experience. For all the advances Samsung made with its user interface in recent years, it does not come close to what's on offer on the Pixel.

Best mid-range option

OnePlus 3T

OnePlus 3T

See at Amazon India

If you're in the market for a phone under ₹30,000, the OnePlus 3T is your best option. OnePlus is selling both the OnePlus 3 as well as the newer 3T in the Indian market, and given that there is a minor ₹2,000 difference in the retail price between the two models, it makes sense to get the OnePlus 3T.

You get a 5.5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, Snapdragon 821 SoC, 64GB/128GB storage options, 6GB of RAM, 16MP front and rear cameras, and a 3400mAh battery.

The OnePlus 3T sports a minimalist aluminium design that gives it an upmarket feel, and the phone has picked up the Nougat update, making it an even more enticing option.

Bottom line: At this price point, there isn't a phone on the market that offers quite as much as the OnePlus 3T.

One more thing: The OnePlus 3T is available in gunmetal grey and soft gold, with both options exclusive to Amazon India.

Best budget phone

Moto G4 Plus

Moto G4 Plus

See at Amazon India

India is the number one market for the Moto G series, for good reason. For ₹13,999, there are few phones that are as reliable as the Moto G4 Plus. This year's variant offers a Full HD display for the first time, with the panel itself scaled up to 5.5 inches. Internal hardware has also been upgraded to 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage, Snapdragon 617, and a 3000mAh battery.

The Moto G4 Plus is also the first in the Moto G series to sport a fingerprint sensor. And this time around, you get a fantastic 16MP camera that's one of the best in this segment.

One key area where the Moto G4 Plus differs from the competition is when it comes to software. Unlike its Chinese rivals, the Moto G4 Plus offers a clean Android skin, one that's devoid of any customizations. Motorola does offer some differentiation through Moto Actions, a series if gestures designed that let you open the camera, toggle the flashlight, or enter the new one-handed mode with ease.

Bottom line: While not as powerful as other devices in this segment, the Moto G4 Plus comes out on front when you look at the overall hardware and software experience.

One more thing: Both the Moto G4 and G4 Plus have picked up the Nougat update in India recently, bringing a slew of new features.

More for less

Lenovo Z2 Plus

Lenovo Z2 Plus

See at Amazon India

The Z2 Plus comes from Lenovo's online-only ZUK sub-brand, offering exciting hardware at an affordable price. There aren't a lot of brands that can go head-to-head with the likes of Xiaomi and OnePlus and come out on top, but Lenovo has done just that with the Z2 Plus.

For ₹19,999, the Z2 Plus offers a 5.0-inch Full HD display, Snapdragon 820 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, 13MP ISOCELL camera, 8MP front shooter, and a 3500mAh battery.

The phone is made out of ceramic, and features a fiberglass frame that's designed to withstand tumbles. On the software front, you get Lenovo's own ZUI, which in its current iteration is based on Marshmallow.

One of the more interesting aspects of the Z2 Plus is U-Touch, through which the home button doubles up as an all-in-one replacement for the standard navigation keys. The gesture-enabled system lets you go back, access the multitasking pane, launch apps, and much more with swipe left or right actions on the home button.

Bottom line: The Z2 Plus offers incredible hardware for its price, and it does so in a compact package.

One more thing: Lenovo isn't the fastest at rolling out updates, and as of now there's no mention of when the phone will pick up Nougat.

Best entry-level phone

Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime

Redmi 3S Prime

See at Flipkart

The Redmi 3S Prime is the best phone if you're on a tight budget. For under ₹10,000, you get a compact 5.0-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 430, 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage, 13MP camera, and battery life that's unlike any other phone.

Thanks to a huge 4100mAh battery, the phone lasts a day without breaking a sweat, and more often than not you'll find that it can go on for two days on a single charge.

Bottom line: Although the software situation isn't ideal, the Redmi 3S Prime has great hardware and astounding battery life.

One more thing: Don't hold out for the Nougat update. The Redmi Note 3 has started to pick up the Marshmallow update now, so there's no way of knowing when Nougat will make its way to the Redmi 3S Prime.

Conclusion

There are great phones available at all price points in India. With the country becoming one of the fastest-growing markets for smartphones, competition is only going to intensify, and that's a good thing for customers. If you want the best available right now, then the Pixel should be at the top of your list.

Best overall

Google Pixel

Pixel

See at Flipkart

The Google Pixel gets the basics absolutely right. The understated metal design is complemented by top-of-the-line hardware in the form of a Snapdragon 821, 4GB of RAM, 32GB or 128GB storage, an astounding camera, and all-day battery life. It is available in two sizes: a 5.0-inch variant with a Full HD display, and a larger 5.5-inch model with a QHD panel.

The Pixel is the ideal device for showcasing Google's services, including the new Google Assistant. With unlimited photo and video backup, you can take as many photos and 4K videos as you want and never worry about running out of space on Google Drive.

You also get the cleanest Android experience, and the Pixel will be the first to receive new software updates, whether they're monthly security updates or new platform versions. And because it's running first-party software, the phone absolutely flies. There isn't another handset available today that comes close to the Pixel in terms of performance.

Bottom line: If you're looking for the phone with the most refined software and the best camera, then the Pixel is the device to get.

One more thing: The Pixel is available from thousands of retail stores across the country in addition to Flipkart.

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1 week ago

BlackBerry Mercury wins big at CES 2017

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Now that CES 2017 has wrapped up, folks are looking back on everything that was announced in Las Vegas and handing out awards for what they feel was the 'Best Of CES.' Unsurprisingly, one of the items that continues to appear on several lists is the BlackBerry Mercury, which TCL offered a sneak peek of at CES.

The last phone designed by BlackBerry has managed to grab a lot of attention in the past few days and a new post from Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, Mobility Solutions, at BlackBerry, highlights that even further. Mercury wasn't the only winner, though: the DTEK50 scored some love at CES as well, taking home an Innovation Award.

We took a peek at the BlackBerry Mercury during CES and even though we don't know the whole story, we like what we've seen so far.

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1 week ago

Is a new Google Voice in the works?

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Google Voice needs a little love and might be getting it.

At least that's what Google tells us when we visit the Google Voice website. You'll see it near the top of the page if you direct yourself over to voice.google.com while you're signed into Chrome. If you're a Project Fi subscriber you'll need to click the link at the bottom of the page to get to the actual Google Voice site after it redirects you to the fancy Fi site.

Of course, clicking on it doesn't do much. It seems to reload the same page, and sending you back to the Fi site if you're a Fi sub. The URL scheme (https://www.google.com/voice/b/0/redirection/new) looks like it's the same sort of auto-redirect we've seen with Google+ and the Project Fi site when they weren't public and available for all. This might mean it works, just not for us mere mortals.

We have no idea what to expect from a new Google Voice. This could be just a redesign of the website and might not include any changes to the service, or it could be a true overhaul now that Hangouts is basically an enterprise app in Google's eyes. Or maybe it will go the way of the dodo and join other Google services we all loved in internet-Valhalla.

I'm sure people are trying to see what magic might be done to actually get to the new page, but for now, we only get a teaser that something new is coming, and we should TRY NOW!

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1 week ago

We're giving away an Honor 6X to three Android Central readers!

410

Want to win a brand new Honor 6X? Live in the U.S.? You're in the right place!

Huawei has taken to CES once again to unveil its latest device, the Honor 6X. Keeping in the tradition of this line, the Honor 6X comes in at a budget-friendly price of $249 — and though it has the sort of mid-range specs you'd expect, there are a few neat bonuses here you don't always find on a phone of this price.

The 6X offers a few nice-to-have features and a solid metal body for an affordable price. Pre-orders start January 4, with full sales starting on January 10 from Honor's own website, as well as other online retailers. But while you wait, why not enter to win one for free? Keep reading for all the details.

THE GIVEAWAY: Head down to the widget at the bottom of this page. There are multiple ways to enter, so complete all of the tasks for maximum entries and your best shot at winning! You can also come back daily and enter again for even more entries! The giveaway is open until January 9th, and the winner will be announced right here shortly after the close date.

Please note that due to sponsor restrictions, this giveaway is only available to Android Central readers in the U.S.. All winning entries are verified and if the task was not completed or cannot be verified, a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck everyone!

We're giving away an Honor 6X to three Android Central readers! Enter here!

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1 week ago

Grab two of these USB-C adapters for just $6 right now!

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Anker is currently offering a two-pack of its Micro-USB to USB-C adapters for just $6 with coupon code AKUSBC11, a savings of $2. With these adapters, you can turn those old cables you have laying around into something that can charge your new Pixel or other compatible phone. The adapters are quite small so you could easily fit them in your pocket or maybe even your wallet, and always have one with you so you are never without a cable to charge up with.

Odds are this deal won't hang around too long, so be sure to act quickly if you are interested. Don't get stuck with only old cables around and a dead battery! Grab these adapters now and thank yourself later. Don't forget coupon code AKUSBC11 for the savings!

See at Amazon

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1 week ago

It's OK to be excited about Nokia making Android phones

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We expected a Lumia running Android. What we got might be even better.

The return of the Nokia name in the smartphone world when the Nokia 6 was announced by HMD Global wasn't really a surprise. In December 2016, HMD Global announced that they would be releasing multiple Android products under the Nokia brand starting in early 2017. It appears that HMD Global, a company that includes several ex-Nokia/Microsoft execs, was created to produce these new Nokia phones. The actual manufacturing will be handled by Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile — which also acquired Microsoft's feature phone division in early 2016 — but the design and software come from HMD using the Nokia brand.

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1 week ago

Holocube by Merge VR was the coolest surprise from CES

0

Holocube is incredibly cool, and one of our biggest surprises.

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Holocube surprised us — a lot. It's a VR accessory for any Google Cardboard user, made by the company responsible for one of the most colorful Google Cardboard clones you'll see on shelves in stores. Holocube doesn't require Merge VR to use it — in fact it doesn't even require an Android phone. Truly anything that runs Cardboard apps can take advantage of this new accessory. What does it do, you ask? In a way, it does whatever you want it to.

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1 week ago

Best Cases for Moto Z

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Best cases you can buy today for Moto Z Droid

What's the best case for the Moto Z?

The Moto Z, on its own, is very thin at just under 6 mm. If you're not planning on opting for any Mods, then you'll want a case with great protection against drops, since a spider-webbed screen is abstract art that's pretty hard to appreciate.

That being said, if you're into Moto mods, you'll have a fairly hard time using them with these cases.

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1 week ago

Essential Accessories For Google Pixel + Pixel XL

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Perfect partners for your Pixel.

So you've just dropped a chunk of cash on a shiny new Pixel or Pixel XL, and it'll soon be heading your way. But what about accessories for your shiny new Google phone?

Google has a wide range of first-party accessories for its first own-branded handset, and we've also rounded up some top essentials from elsewhere. Take a look!

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1 week ago

#DOUBLETAKE: Here were some of the CRAZIEST things at CES 2017!

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What were some of the most insane things that were at #CES2017?!

Okay, first off: CES is a gigantic wonderland of anything and everything techie and weird. That means that no matter which corridor you decide to hoverboard down, there's a chance you'll find something that could make you do a serious double-take.

While wandering around the massive halls of the Sands Expo and the Las Vegas Convention Centre, there were quite a number of things both big and small that had me wondering, "Huh. Hey. What the heck is that?" So as we explored, we kept track of the oddballs!

Here are a couple of bizarre gadgets that stuck out this year at CES!

The Force Trainer 2

For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. – Yoda

If you've seen Star Wars, then you've probably attempted to use The Force on something at least once in your life. Maybe you've practiced with automatic sliding doors or a perfectly-timed green light, but we all know that's luck (or someone just, like, walking passed a censor at the right time).

But what if we told you that you could actually use your mind just like Jedi? What if we told you that there was brain-sensing EEG technology that's been regularly used in military and medical devices that can allow you to take down enemy droids with just your mind?

Meet the Star Wars Force Trainer 2; an incredibly crazy/cool device that seamlessly mixes science and sci-fi to let you train to be a Jedi Master! All you have to do is focus, and make it so (THIS IS A JOKE. I KNOW THIS IS A QUOTE FROM STAR TREK AND NOT STAR WARS. PLEASE DON'T EAT ME).

See at Amazon

O'2 Nails

Having your nails done can not only be time-consuming, but it can get a bit, well, booooring.

Sure, you love you esthetician and nail artist, but having the same floral and jeweled designs time and time again can get dull and repetitive, and using a glitter, matte, or metallic polish is alright, but it really isn't that terribly daring.

That's why O'2 Nails is actually kind of a big-deal and a game changer in the aesthetic world: the little portable box pairs with an app that allows users to literally print images directly onto their nails.

The ARTPRO NAIL from O'2 Nails is an inkjet printer FOR YOUR FINGERNAILS! #nailart #ces2017

A video posted by iMore (@imoregram) on Jan 6, 2017 at 3:11pm PST

After applying a few base coats, you're good to pick your high-quality image – it can literally be anything as long as the picture is clear enough– and start paint-printing. Just sit still and in no time, you'll have puppies, kitties, or octopi on your nails!

(Oh, and it's not available online yet, but you can read about when it may be available and how much it'll cost right here).

To quote #BradPit in the movie #Se7en, "WHAT'S IN THE BOX?!" While that's a very good question, it's actually what comes OUT of the box that's super cool and amazing! This is the @o2nails_beauty, a device that allows people to print and truly customize their #manicure without any mess or hassle. The best part? It's portable! #CES2017 #O2Nails #LasVegas #SandsExpo

A photo posted by Android Central (@androidcentral) on Jan 6, 2017 at 3:39pm PST

HandL Butt Case

Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt. It is so big. – Sir Mix A Lot, Baby Got Back

We'll cut to the chase: The HandL Butt Case is exactly what it sounds like, and when I first heard about it, I thought it was super silly…

… until we actually had the opportunity to use and play with it.

Say what you want about the design, but HandL's Butt Case is an incredibly comfortable phone accessory with an (extremely) unique look and feel. While the brand makes plenty of more 'regular' looking cases, the function and design is always the same: a strip of leather that pulls up from with an elastic attachment to the case, so your phone can always stay secure in your hand.

Two words: Butt. Case. 🍑 #CES2017 #SandsExpo #iPhone #iMore #butt #buttcase #Handl @mikahsargent

A video posted by iMore (@imoregram) on Jan 6, 2017 at 7:20pm PST

Think a Stylering , but with more stability and, well, butt style!

Is it a thin case? No, not really, but the Butt case looks identical to a rear-end and is incredibly squishy and comfy, making it a super crazy, but super awesome phone accessory!

TLDR: Baby got back.

See at HandL

Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio

Have you ever doodled a cool looking character and thought, 'Hey, he'd make a really awesome dude in a video game?' Well, what if you could physically build and put together any type of creature using something simple like, I dunno, Play-Doh, and have it scanned into digital, playable real-ness?

While never fear, because the Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio is here!

Step one: Build cat-to-pus Step two: Scan cat-to-pus into reality and start playing! Seriously though, how cool is this @playdoh video game?! You can get SO creative and wild! We're obsessed! #CES2017 #ShowStoppers #LasVegas

A video posted by Android Central (@androidcentral) on Jan 5, 2017 at 8:38pm PST

All you have to do it take a little bit of Play-Doh, mush and model it into the ideal lil' creature of your dreams (I made a cat-to-pus!), scan your creation onto your iPad using the special scanning pad, and you're good to start playing levels with your self-made shenanigans.

The coolest part? Your character doesn't move in a standard sort of way – depending on how many legs and appendages your creation has, it will react and play in its own unique way!

See at Hasbro

iGulu Home Beer Brewery

If you're a big beer fan and love having an ice-cold glass of some delicious hops, then take a peek at the 2017 CES award-winning iGulu Home Beer Brewery!

iGulu is an automatic, technologically advanced beer-brewing machine. The machine boasts high-tech control systems and sensors, making brewing beer a smart and excellent process, suitable for beginners as well as for experts.

Now if you're worried about messing up your favorite beverage, don't be, because a smart control chip helps keeps things constantly monitored in real-time.

Users can even share and access a ton of different recipes by simply logging into the iGulu Library.

Happy boozin'!

See at iGulu

Nurugo

You're totally lying, and lying is bad for your skin, so... – Tammy, Bob's Burgers

While lying is probably bad for your skin, we would never lie to you when we say that the Nurugo is the next logical step in smart skincare maintenance. Afterall, it did win a CES 2017 innovation award!

Nurugo is an itty-bitty UV camera that attaches directly to your phone. From there, you just have to hold up the device to your face and start scanning! In a couple of seconds, a full report will appear on your phone screen, letting you know how big your pores are, if youn have dry or oily skin, and so, so much more.

At the moment, all the Nurugo can do is scan your skin and tell you what's up, but in the next couple of months, the system will be able to actually recommend things to do to clear up acne, dryness, or any other skin issue!

The Nurugo Micro is SICKKK! It scans and analyzes your skin, giving you metrics and recommendations for skin health!

A video posted by iMore (@imoregram) on Jan 5, 2017 at 1:30pm PST

See at Nurugo

So what do you think!?

Is there an item on our list that you think is the most out-there and bizarre? Were you at CES yourself, and saw something super cool? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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1 week ago

Google brings AR to museums with Tango

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Tango museum experience

Restore color to ancient artworks, or see inside an ancient Egyptian mummy

Google has announced a new venture to bring augmented reality to museums around the world, starting with the Detroit Institute of Art. Google's Tango program for phone-based AR will make its way to the DIA through the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and a new AR experience built by GuidiGO, a developer which previously built tour apps for Google Glass.

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1 week ago

Best Bands for the Samsung Gear Fit 2

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Update the look of your Gear Fit 2 with these stylish band options!

The Samsung Gear Fit 2 is a pretty good fitness band that includes a feature typically found on smartwatches: the ability to swap out the 22mm bands for other colors or styles.

If you prefer to wear yours 24/7, having a couple extra bands can help you accessorize your Gear Fit 2, whether you're attending a formal affair or just like to spice things up with a fresh splash of color. There's a number of great, affordable options out there, so let's dive in!

MoKo Soft Silicone Replacement Sports Bands

MoKo offers a wide range of color options of their silicone straps for the Gear Fit 2. Each strap is adjustable to fit small or large wrists (4.96" - 8.38") via the same style of metal plug used on the strap that came with the Gear Fit 2. Bands can be swapped in and out quickly with the one-button quick release for locking the watch band, making it convenient to have a fresh strap to swap out after a sweaty workout. With a price of only $10 compared to Samsung's stock replacement for the black, you can economically afford to get a couple of these in your favorite colors, then keep them in a bit of a rotation so your wrist always feeling fresh and looking fine.

See styles at Amazon

Moretek Fit 2 Wrist Straps

Moretek offers two different style of wrist bands for the Gear Fit 2: a more traditional strap available in 12 different color and pattern options and a rugged strap (pictured) that offers impact protection for your tracker's watch face. Everything is made of a skin-friendly silicone material and held on your wrist with a traditional watch strap buckle. The rugged bands are definitely going to add some bulk to your wrist, but whether you're playing a high-impact sport or simply prone to banging it against doorways, that extra protection might save you from incidental damage.

See styles at Amazon

V-Moro Metal Replacement bands

If you're after a metal strap option for a more stylish look, V-Moro has you covered with two distinct styles — a classic metal link band and a Milanese loop band featuring a magnetic clasp. Both styles are available in silver or black, with the Milanese band (pictured) sold in small and large sizes, so choose accordingly.

The metal band includes a tool for adding and removing links for adjusting sizes. Both are great for incorporating your Gear Fit 2 as an accessory in a professional wardrobe. V-Moro also offers a medium-sized silicone strap on the same Amazon listing. In stark contrast to the stylish metal offerings, these are extremely utilitarian and offer that "classic" fitness tracker look, with five colorful options to choose for.

See styles at Amazon

How do you accessorize your Gear Fit 2?

Are you a band swapper? What's your favorite style for your Gear Fit 2? Let us know in the comments!

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1 week ago

State of Android Gaming 2017

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It's a great time to be an Android gamer.

This past year may go down as a banner year for Android gaming. We saw some big tech advancements in virtual reality and augmented reality, a great mix of outstanding games from indie developers and established franchises, and we're looking forward to more of that good stuff in 2017.

Here's what I saw as the trends and highlights from 2016, and what I'm looking forward to most in the new year.

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